Friday’s fantasy basketball slate has nine games. For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock.
Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings.
Kemba Walker, CHA vs. WAS ($8,100): Washington has allowed the second most points and third most assists to opponents, giving Walker a soft matchup he already has exploited this year. In two previous games vs. the Wizards, Walker is averaging 58 DKFP per game on 37 points and 7.5 assists per game.
Washington ranks in the top 10 in pace, and the Hornets have had their possessions boosted in two games against the Wizards, averaging about 105 possessions per 48 minutes, five more than their season average of 100. Washington also ranks as the league’s second worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound, which also could create extra possessions for the Hornets.
Washington’s shot-quality metrics on 3-pointers also are worse than average, allowing more wide-open 3s per game than the average team based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Walker is shooting 41 percent on wide-open 3s this year, a boost from 36 percent on all 3s, and could see better looks from deep Friday.
Other Options — Russell Westbrook ($10,800)
Elfrid Payton, NO vs. TOR ($5,000): Jrue Holiday (abdominal) is out indefinitely, which will make Payton a candidate for more passing volume. Holiday leads the Pelicans in both potential assists created (14 per game) and passes per game (60), opening up more facilitating opportunities for Payton with Holiday out of the lineup.
Payton has a higher percentage of the Pelicans’ assists when Holiday is off the court, seeing his assist rate shoot up to 37 percent, up from 25 percent with Holiday on the court with him. Payton also sees a good boost in usage rate with Holiday off the court, to 22 percent, up from 16 percent with Holiday on the court.
Despite Holiday being out, Payton’s price is locked in at $5,000, the lowest it’s been in six games.
Other Options — Kyle Lowry ($7,100)
James Harden, HOU vs. PHI ($11,000): The Sixers will remain without strong interior defender Joel Embiid (knee) on Friday. The Sixers have been noticeably less effective defensively in minutes without Embiid this season, allowing six more points per 100 possessions in minutes with Embiid off the court. The Sixers have allowed the sixth most field goals within five feet of the basket since Embiid went out of the lineup after the All-Star break and have allowed more points to opponents than average in that timeframe.
While the Sixers have been excellent at defending the 3-point line, Harden takes about a third of his field goals within five feet of the basket, a zone the Sixers have been prone to allowing field goals in without Embiid. Philadelphia’s top-10 pace also will give Harden more possessions to work with.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA at MEM ($8,400): A matchup against the plodding Grizzlies is generally unappealing, as the Grizzlies rank last in the league in possessions per game and have held opponents to the second fewest points per game, but Mitchell is a candidate for heavy ball-handling volume Friday with Ricky Rubio (hip) doubtful and Raul Neto (hamstring) out, leaving the Jazz thin at point guard.
In seven games with Rubio out in January, Mitchell created 12 potential assists per game, a boost from his season average of eight potential assists per game, and averaged 48 DKFP, a boost from his season average of 38 DKFP. Mitchell also has a higher percentage of the Jazz’s assists when Rubio is not on the court with him, with his assist rate climbing to 28 percent, up from 17 percent with Rubio on the court.
Other Options — Bradley Beal ($9,500)
Frank Jackson, NO vs. TOR ($3,200): Jackson is a candidate for a boosted role with Holiday out. Jackson’s price remains low at $3,200, in line with where it was at with Holiday in the lineup, giving him some extra value with an expanded role. Jackson is averaging 20 DKFP per game over his past six prior to Holiday’s injury.
Other Options — Nicolas Batum ($5,500)
Ben Simmons, PHI at HOU ($9,100): Simmons takes two-thirds of his field goals within eight feet of the basket, a zone Houston has been weak at defending this year. Houston has allowed the fourth most field goals per game within eight feet of the basket while allowing opponents to shoot an elevated 61 percent in that zone, second highest. Simmons is shooting an efficient 62 percent on shots within eight feet of the basket.
Houston also ranks poorly on the glass, ranking as the league’s fifth worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots it rebounds, giving Simmons a good matchup on the boards.
In seven games since Embiid went out of the lineup, Simmons is averaging 49.5 DKFP per game, a boost from his season average of 44 DKFP per game, and is averaging 55 DKFP over his past four games.
Other Options — Luka Doncic ($9,300), Jimmy Butler ($7,200)
Royce O’Neale, UTA at MEM ($3,300): O’Neale has moved into the Jazz’s starting lineup when Rubio doesn’t play, and with Rubio doubtful to play Friday, O’Neale is in line for an expanded role if he starts again. O’Neale is averaging 31 minutes per game in starts this year, a big boost from 17 minutes per game off the bench.
Other Options — David Nwaba ($3,200)
Kawhi Leonard, TOR at NO ($8,900): New Orleans plays fast and is poor defensively, which has it allowing the fifth most points and second most assists to opponents, giving Leonard a soft matchup.
The Pelicans also have the league’s worst shot-quality metrics on 3-pointers, allowing the most wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Leonard is shooting 41 percent on wide-open 3s this year, a boost from 36 percent on all 3s.
Other Options — Paul George ($9,700)
Amir Johnson, PHI at HOU ($3,500): Johnson, who has PF/C eligibility, has made two straight starts at center for the Sixers, who will be without Embiid again Friday. Johnson played 20 minutes in each start, scoring 28 and 23.5 DKFP. If Johnson is in the starting lineup again, he is a salary relief option against a Houston team that has been weak at defending the basket, allowing the sixth most field goals within five feet of the basket per game.
Other Options — Jabari Parker ($4,900)
Clint Capela, HOU vs. PHI ($6,700): Capela has a good matchup on the glass against a Sixers team that will be without Embiid again. The percentage of missed shots the Sixers rebound falls off significantly in minutes with Embiid off the court this year, and they rank as a below-average rebounding team in seven games since Embiid went out of the lineup. Amir Johnson, who has been starting at center the past two games, also ranks poorly by rebound rate, ranking 46th among 54 centers. Capela’s $6,700 price tag is one of his 10 lowest price tags all season.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($8,200)
Cody Zeller, CHA vs. WAS ($5,300): Zeller faces a Wizards team that has been very weak on the glass, ranking as the second worst rebounding team in the league by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. In two previous games vs. the Wizards this year, Zeller is averaging 29 DKFP.
Other Options — Pascal Siakam ($7,000)
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.